Larry Johnson (left) is the beer styles columnist for Southern Brew News.
Dustin Watts (center) is with Terrapin Beer Company in Athens.
Terri (right) is a beer lover from Chapel Hill, NC.
Many thanks to the excellent Farm 255
for hosting our blind tasting.
Ogletree (director of Brewtopia Events LLC) gathered together fellow
beer lovers Dustin, Terri, Kerri, Larry and Jeff
on November 21, 2006 at Farm 255
restaurant in Athens, GA
to sample and comment on several mixed styles of specialty ales and
lagers made by Anheuser-Busch for the 2006 holiday season. No one
was aware of the brewer or the brands of beers that were being
tasted. Products were
commented upon according to Beer
Judge Certification Program (BJCP) style guidelines. See the
bottom of this page for a comprehensive article from Owen regarding the
ingredients and flavors of many of these new brews. Drop Owen an email to share your
Kerri Allen & Jeff Rapp
Mill Pale Ale
Celebrate Vanilla Oak
Bourbon Cask Ale
More Information on Budweiser's New Specialty Beers for 2006
Anheuser-Busch Unveils New Beers for the Holidays
By Owen Ogletree
Microbrews and craft beers are all the rage these days, and in response to increasing nationwide sales of these flavorful beer styles, Anheuser-Busch is bucking their light lager tradition by releasing eight new specialty beers that will be available in the Athens market this holiday season. This is an ideal chance for loyal Budweiser drinkers to be bold and experience the flavors of some new malt beverages from their favorite brewery.
Jack's Pumpkin Spice Ale is a golden ale made with Oregon pumpkins. This is a subtle specialty beer with a pleasant hint of pumpkin and seasonal spices such as cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and clove that are added directly to the brew kettle. Jack’s Pumpkin Spice finishes slightly sweet and pairs well with pecan pie or cheesecake.
Michelob Porter will be part of the new Michelob sampler pack and has a luscious dark color with ruby highlights and an elegant cocoa aroma with a hint of coffee. There is also a mild espresso flavor, a spicy hop background and a dry finish.
Michelob Bavarian-style Wheat is a good example of a traditional, refreshing Bavarian wheat ale that is cloudy in appearance and slightly dry in the finish with characteristic banana and clove notes in the aroma and flavor. This golden beer is produced using barley and wheat malts and is not filtered before bottling.
Budweiser Brew Masters' Private Reserve is an 8.5% alcohol lager that is made from a special, 100% malt, strong lager recipe. (In contrast, regular Budweiser is around 5% alcohol, has rice as a portion of its grain bill and is not made from 100% barley malt.) The Private Reserve incorporates delicate aroma hops throughout the boil. This elegant beer is potent, warming and slightly sweet – perfect in a brandy snifter alongside roast turkey or duck
Michelob Celebrate Chocolate also registers a mighty 8.5 % alcohol and is brewed with caramel and roasted malts and has cocoa beans added to the maturation tank. The taste is reminiscent of semi-sweet chocolate with a coconut liqueur note. Serve slightly chilled (not cold) to really appreciate the complex flavors.
Michelob Celebrate Vanilla Oak features distinct vanilla, caramel and oak flavors. Vanilla beans from Madagascar are a part of the recipe, and this brew comes in at 10% alcohol. A richer, fruitier and spicier version of this beer is matured with wood from broken bourbon barrels and is called Winter's Bourbon Cask Ale.
Stone Mill Pale Ale is an organic beer with a floral/citrus hop aroma and a light malt background. The beer utilizes an interesting combination of American and European hop flowers that provides a marriage of citrus and spicy/floral hop character. This offering tastes almost like a fruity, Bohemian pilsner with a hint of grapefruit.
The Michelob seasonal beers are available in a 20-bottle variety pack that includes the standard Amber Bock. The Michelob Chocolate, Brew Master’s Reserve and Vanilla Oak beers are part of the Celebrate Series and are being sold in grand, champagne-type bottles. Jack’s Pumpkin Spice has been available in past years as a draught offering, but is now on the market in a six or 18-pack configuration. These special brews will be available only during the holiday season – with the exception of the organic Stone Mill Pale Ale that can be purchased in six-packs year-round.
George Reisch, brewmaster for Anheuser-Busch says “Beer is one of the most versatile, moderate alcohol beverages in the world, and even pairs well with a range of festive cuisines by complementing, and not overpowering complex flavors.” Holiday revelers are encouraged to incorporate elegant, handcrafted beers into their celebrations. Without reservation, many beer connoisseurs consider rich, delicious, specialty beers (such as the ones discussed above) to be the ultimate holiday “bubbly” of choice. It seems as if the brewers of Anheuser-Busch are now in agreement.
© 2006 Brewtopia Events LLC